Friday, 24 May 2013

Skills and gardens

With our exec awayday and my annual visit to Chelsea Flower Show this week there's not been a lot to blog about. Chelsea was as always brilliant, and I'm really pleased that our own Professor Nigel Dunnett from the Department of Landscape got a gold medal for his rooftop garden - there's an article in the FT about it here.  Of course, I got some pictures of it - it was quite spectacular and deserved the gold medal.

 Other things this week include some catch ups with senior colleagues, and a meeting to look at actions arising from the survey of all staff we undertook to get their views of our services. We're producing a "you said, we did" web page to keep people up to date with the actions arising from it.

Last night  I was invited to talk to a group of students who are undertaking PhDs about how they could use the skills they acquire doing research and transfer them to other careers. In CiCS there's quite a few of us with PhDs and it was interesting to collect everyone's views what skills they'd learned. A lot of consensus around organisational skills, problem solving, making evidence based decisions, team work, attention to detail, and writing skills. Also self reliance - doing a PhD is often the first time you've had to do something completely on your own - and self confidence. I hope they found it interesting, and I tried to emphasise that there's a lot of jobs where these skills are needed that are not just in academia.
My favourite response when I asked what someone in CiCS had learned doing their PhD was "what the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz learned. Brilliant!

Now, because it is a cold, wet, windy bank holiday, I'm going camping!

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